Rhonda’s Cooking


Are Your Plastic Bottles Safe?

Posted by rhondascooking on September 20, 2008

The week The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), reported its findings of the long time debate concerning the chemical Bisphenol A (BPA), which is used as an epoxy to line food and beverage containers such as polycarbonate plastics (like bottle tops), drink cans, canned meats and vegetables, baby formula, etc.  In the study, American adult men and women, ranging in age from 18 to 74 were tested and compared with their overall health status.1   JAMA reported that the quarter of the population with the highest BPA levels — which were still at levels the FDA considers safe — were more than twice as likely to suffer from diabetes and cardiovascular disease as those in the quarter with the lowest levels.2 Isn’t this shocking news?! 


In 2007, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) performed a study with about 97 canned foods and found that the highest levels of BPA were found in chicken soup, baby formula and ravioli.3

So the next time you go grocery shopping for you and/or your family please keep the following facts in mind:

  1. Current exposures to BPA has some concern of effects on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland of fetuses, infants, and children.4
  2. BPA is at unsafe levels in 1 of every 10 servings of canned foods and 1 of every 3 cans of infant formula.3
  3. Glass and recyclable plastic bottles and water bottles do not contain polycarbonates.2
  4. Non-recyclable plastic containers that are made with polycarbonates are marked with the number 7 on the bottom.2
  5. Check the expiration date on bottled water/drinks; sometimes you’ll find some for sale way past that date. Choose from the back because sellers follow the FIFO principle—First In, First Out.

1Lang, Iain A PhD, et al.  “Association of Urinary Bisphenol A Concentration With Medical Disorders and Laboratory Abnormalities in Adults.”  Journal of the American Medical Association. 19 September 2008 <http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/300/11/1303>.
2Maugh, Thomas A. “LAT: Researchers Link BPA Exposure to Health Concerns.”  Los Angeles Times.  17 Sept. 2008.  19 Sept. 2008
3“Bisphenol A: Toxic Plastics Chemical in Canned Food.”  Ewg.org. March 2007. 19 Sept. 2008
4“NTP-CERHR Monograph on the Potential Human Reproductive and Developmental Effects on Bisphenol A.”  NIH Publication No. 08-5994. Sept 2008.



3 Responses to “Are Your Plastic Bottles Safe?”

  1. chumpman said

    I think the usage of plastic bottles, especially soda plastic bottles, can be for short term but not long term. Plastic, when expose for anything for a long term, for example heat exposure, will not give a good effect to the water. I am no science student but I suppose its common sense, especially seeing what will happen to plastics when going through long term factors. Great post! 🙂

  2. Thanks! I am a science student and I do agree with that exposure, length of time when exposed, as well as temperature play a factor in this too. I also read that the microwave impacts plastics with BPA. Thanks for the post!

  3. Sunny said

    A fantastic summary of the findings so far on BPA, Rhonda. As a person who’s got a family history of diabetes and whose used those famous Lexan resin Nalgene bottles, the JAMA findings come as no surprise (I’ve been keeping up with the issue as well). Funny they couldn’t have figured this out sooner – before it became a problem (of course that would have been the most product action – something the government, business and research doesn’t do until it’s already a bit late).

    Fair winds,
    Sunny Lam

    Ffenyx Rising
    http://ffenyx.wordpress.com || http://www.linkedin.com/in/sunnylam
    Member of Green Enterprise Toronto

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